West Coast Lady (Vanessa annabella)
Invertebrates Around Las Vegas, Wildlife Around Las Vegas
West Coast Lady (Vanessa annabella)
Northeastern Mojave Desert; January 2007

General: The West Coast Lady (Vanessa annabella), also called the West Coast Painted Lady, is recognized as one of the "painted ladies" by the orange wings with black at the tips of the forewings, white spots in the black at the tip, and the small, round eyespots on the hindwing. The underside of the wings are mottled with complex patters, including eyespots on the hindwings. The shape of the forewings is triangular with a bit of an extension (a tab) at the tip.

This species is recognized by the orange bar in the black at the leading edge of the forewings (arrow), the four blue-centered eyespots on the hindwings, and the four or five obscure eye-spots on the underside of the hindwings.

Two related species are similar to the West Coast Lady. The American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis) is recognized by the two large, bold eyespots on the underside of the hindwings (rather then 4-5 obscure eyespots). The Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) is recognized by a white bar on the forewing (rather than orange).

West Coast Lady (Vanessa annabella)

Taxonomy: Family: Brush-footed Butterflies (Nymphalidae); Subfamily: True Brushfoots (Nymphalinae).

Preferred Habitat: Wide habitat tolerance from deserts to weedy places and yards, including alpine areas to sea coasts, but generally sunny, open areas.

Where to Find: This species occurs throughout western North America from southern Canada to Central America

Comments:

West Coast Lady (Vanessa annabella) West Coast Lady; note that members of this genus have triangular wings with a bit of an extension, or tab, on the end of the forewing.
West Coast Lady (Vanessa annabella) West Coast Lady; underside
West Coast Lady (Vanessa annabella) West Coast Lady; note the several (4-5) obscure eyespots on the hindwing.
West Coast Lady (Vanessa annabella) West Coast Lady (Vanessa annabella)
West Coast Lady (Vanessa annabella)
Vanessa annabella on a favorite host plant: hollyhock (Althea spp.)
more to come ...

Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 101023

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